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December 11, 2007

FDA: No Heart Risk with Heartburn Drugs

A review issued by the Food and Drug Administration finds that patients who take Prilosec or Nexium to treat heartburn are not at an increased risk for heart problems. The federal agency says it recommends physicians continue to prescribe the medications, and that patients should continue to use the drugs as prescribed. The FDA began reviewing the drugs back in May after an early analysis of 2 small studies that suggested the possibility of a risk.

Hypertension Linked to Dementia

According to a study appearing in Archives of Neurology, seniors with hypertension may be more likely to develop a type of mild cognitive impairment that can lead to vascular dementia. Researchers found those with high blood pressure had a 40% greater risk of mild cognitive impairment, and a 70% higher risk of “non-amnesic” impairment that does not involve broader memory difficulties.

Frozen Shoulder a Common Curse for Women

A little understood joint condition commonly called frozen shoulder tends to strike 2% to 3% of the population, with the vast majority being women between the ages 40 and 60. Yet the numbers show that few get diagnosed for the condition, known medically as adhesive capsulitis, because it is often mistaken for a rotator cuff injury. Such misdiagnosis can extend recovery time by as much as a year or more, experts say.

High Lead Levels Found in Christmas Lights

An analysis of 4 common brands of Christmas lights shows they contain levels of lead experts say are high enough to be dangerous to children. A standard wipe test for lead found surface levels far exceed the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended children’s limit of 15 micrograms. The light companies say the lights are not toys, but electrical appliances and encourage consumers to keep holiday lights and other electrical products away from the hands and mouths of children.

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